Don't Let the Test-Taking Nightmare Happen to You | Winward Academy


The Test Taking Nightmare – Don’t Let The Reality Happen To You

I’m walking through a part of my school I’ve never been to, looking for a classroom I didn’t know existed, to take a final exam I’m completely unprepared for in a class I meant to drop months ago.

Sometimes the class is Chemistry. Sometimes it’s Spanish. Sometimes – don’t ask me why – it’s about obscure bird identification. I sit in an unfamiliar desk, surrounded by confident students who know the material and take a test I know I’m doomed to fail.

Then I wake up.

If this dream sounds familiar, it’s because it’s actually pretty common; probably because everyone — at some point — feels unprepared for an important life event. That’s a feeling that Winward Academy wants to alleviate, especially when it comes to the ACT and SAT.

The best way to ensure this nightmare doesn’t become reality is to make a study plan and stick to it. Dr. Jennifer Winward estimates that those who feel they need an extensive review in all subjects (grammar, math, reading, science, and essay writing) should plan to study for 8 hours per week for 12 weeks. Students who prefer to study more intensively could work 20 hours per week for 5 weeks (a perfect approach for summer studying). It all depends on the student.

How do you know what you need to study? Simple — take a diagnostic test. Actually, take two, one SAT and one ACT. Compare the scores, see how you rank on the curve, and then concentrate on the one you’re better at (FYI — obscure bird identification isn’t on either exam).

For more information on how to create a study plan and when to schedule your SAT or ACT so it lines up with what you’re learning in math class, contact us at 858.764.2591 or

Sweet dreams!

Do you like what you’ve read? Please click the links to share with friends who would also know the feeling of the test nightmare.

About Winward Academy – Winward Academy is one of the world’s leading innovators in the online education space, providing web-based academic support that enhances students’ knowledge, confidence, and competitiveness in middle and high school academics and in college applications. We help thousands of students every year by providing personalized, comprehensive ACT prep, SAT prepand extensive math curriculum support. The Winward Academy learning platform honors over 40 years of education and cognitive psychology research, incorporating proven techniques that promote effective learning.

Winward Academy’s unmatched reputation is wholly attributable to our students’ exceptional success and to the trust earned among students, parents, and schools around the world.

Mike Krumboltz

Mike Krumboltz is a journalist who also writes fiction. He holds an MFA in creative writing and lives in Oakland with his wife and daughters.